Animal rights group, Native Americans to meet in Atascadero to oppose hunting amendment 

protect the wolves

California Fish and Game Commission meets in Atascadero, allowing GPS tracking on hunting dogs is on the agenda

–The California Fish and Game Commission is meeting in Atascadero Oct 11-12. One of the items on the agenda is discussing proposed changes to the California Mammal Hunting Regulations section 265 that governs the use of dogs for pursuing or taking of mammals. The change proposes to allow the use of GPS-equipped dog collars and treeing switches on hunting dogs, a move that is opposed by both animal protection organizations and Native American groups. A tree switch is a device that sends a signal when a dog raises its head to watch or sound a treed animal.

Hunters claim that GPS devices will make it easier to track and find their hunting dogs that are running loose in pursuit of game. Animal rights advocates claim the devices are inhumane both to the hunting dogs and to the animals being pursued.

Randal Massaro, President of Union Members for the Preservation of Wildlife, said that if the GPS collars are approved hunters will have “no incentive to keep up with their dogs in wildlife habitat and terrain when they can sit in vehicles and watch a screen indicating their dogs’ ranging one to seven miles, or more.” Massaro also said the devices violate Fish and Game codes that require dogs be kept under control.

Roger Dobson, President of the Northern California organization Protect the Wolves and member of the Washington Cowlitz Tribe said, “It is inhumane treatment of both the dogs and the wildlife to let dogs run loose where there are real predators that have to eat. No hunter is going to be able to get to any dog fast enough to save that dog from another predator.”

Clifton Aduddel, President of the Native American Church of the Ghost Dancers and a Choctaw located in Southern California said the proposal is a “horrific disrespect of the canines and other animals in general.”

Tony Cerda, Chief of the Coastanoan Rumsen Tribe said he is against turning dogs loose to hunt down prey. “It is our tradition when hunting or even taking plants to offer a prayer to the animal or plant to thank them for feeding my family and to say ‘When I die I’ll feed your family.’ This is the circle of life.”

The commission is meeting Wed–Thur, Oct 11–12 at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott at 900 El Camino Real in Atascadero. The commission’s Tribal Committee also met at 1:30 p.m. Oct 10 at the same location. The commission meeting calendar and agendas can be viewed here.

Massaro said he is encouraging everyone who interested to attend this meeting before the final hearing and vote at the commission’s December meeting in San Diego. Massaro said that he feels both animal rights advocates and tribal speakers at previous meetings about the amendment have not been taken seriously. “It is high time we stop spending our tax dollars to subsidize a cruel sport and form of hunting such as this, not to mention the innocent animals like fawns or other animals that aren’t on the hunting list, maybe even hikers or campers. Getting bit by one dog is bad enough, but getting bit and attacked by six, eight or 12 dogs is even worse,” said Massaro.

Source: Animal rights group, Native Americans to meet in Atascadero to oppose hunting amendment – Paso Robles Daily News

Alert—Written or Oral Comments Needed to CA Fish and Game Commission

Protect the Wolves, protect the wolves, wolves, wolf, protect yellowstone wolves

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CALIF FISH AND WILDLIFE MEETING ON OCT 11, WED,2017

AT THE MARRIOT SPRINGHILL SUITES, ATASCADERO, CALIF

Subject:

CA Fish and Game Commission Considers GPS Collars on Dogs to Hunt Mammals

A proposed Fish and Game regulation amendment that will allow hound hunters to use GPS collars and treeing switches on dogs to hunt mammals or to train will be discussed at their meeting next week Atascadero (Oct 11, 2017).

After over a year of contentious debate, last year the FGC approved an amendment to allow GPS collars and tree switches for hound hunting of mammals and dog training.  Due to a lawsuit filed for noncompliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the FGC publicly admitted their mistake and agreed to redo the amendment to “do it right.”  On April 26, 2017, they voted to (1) bring back the ban; (2) delay implementing it for one year; and (3) go to notice to amend the regs to again allow GPS and treeing switches and comply with CEQA.

However, unconfirmed reports from FGC staff indicate a change of direction:  There will be no analysis via a “Draft Environmental Document as promised and required by CEQA.  Common sense dictates that if GPS collars are allowed to take/pursue mammals and train dogs, then more dogs will be released into wildlife habitat, thus creating significant impacts.  Hound hunting is fraught with wildlife disturbances and animal cruelty issues as dogs are released and “cross scent” to maim, wound, or fatally injure both targeted and non-targeted animals in the wild.  Other than nine states in the Deep South, California is the only state on the mainland that allows deer-hound hunting (reportedly Hawaii also allows it).

Groups involved with wildlife rescue and rehab can attest to the tragedies, especially of fawn attacks.  Dogs are often wounded in altercations and/or incur lethal injuries when confronting other predators in wildlife habitat.  With increases in released dogs due to GPS collar allowance, negative impacts will be significantly increased.

Currently hounders can use radio telemetry collars and claim to abide by “fair chase” and “ethical hunting” principles.  However, hunting in general has reached a tipping point in abandoning these principles with mind-boggling advancements in technology.  If GPS collars are approved by the CA FGC (final hearing and vote planned for December, 2017), then hounders will have no incentive to keep up with their dogs in wildlife habitat and terrain when they can sit in vehicles and watch a screen as their dogs range many miles, which in turn appears to be a violation of FG Code 3008 that requires dogs to be under control.

More information regarding the October 11 meeting can be found on the FGC’s website, www.fgc.ca.gov

 

            Second, here’s the alert:

Alert—Written or Oral Comments Needed to CA Fish and Game Commission

            It’s back!  The proposed Fish and Game regulation amendment to allow hound hunters to use GPS collars and treeing switches on dogs to hunt mammals or train is Item 7 on the agenda for next week’s meeting in Atascadero (Oct 11, 2017).  As the second of three steps, it would be extremely helpful if as many as possible can show up to speak out publicly to oppose the proposed amendment, support allies, and/or send letters and emails ([email protected]) to the FGC before noon on Friday, October 6, 2017.

Summary.  After over a year of contentious debate, the FGC approved an amendment to allow GPS collars and tree switches for hound hunting of mammals and dog training.  Due to a lawsuit filed for noncompliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the FGC publicly admitted noncompliance and agreed to redo the amendment to “do it right.”  On April 26, 2017, they voted to (1) bring back the ban [good]; (2) delay implementing it for one year [bad]; and (3) go to notice to amend the regs to again allow GPS and treeing switches [worse].

In an unbelievable turn, FGC staff has now indicated that there will be no analysis or required “Draft Environmental Document” (DED) prepared because they have determined that the proposed amendment is “exempt” from CEQA (!).  Unfortunately, the “Meeting Binder” or documents have not yet been posted as of this writing; thus the accuracy of that unacceptable position cannot be confirmed.  Because time is of the essence, comments in opposition should be sent now.

Discussion Issues.  Common sense dictates that if GPS collars are allowed to take/pursue mammals and train dogs, then more dogs will be released into wildlife habitat.  Hound hunting is fraught with wildlife disturbances and animal cruelty issues as dogs are released and “cross scent” to maim, wound, or fatally injure both targeted and non-targeted animals in the wild.  Other than nine states in the Deep South, California is the only state on the mainland that allows deer-hound hunting (reportedly Hawaii also allows it).

Groups involved with wildlife rescue and rehab can attest to the tragedies, especially of fawn attacks.  Hounds themselves are often wounded in altercations and/or incur lethal injuries when confronting other predators in wildlife habitat.  Much of this barbaric mayhem is immortalized on the Internet via seemingly gleeful and proud houndsmen/women (hounders) posting videos of their blood sport with shouts of “GET ‘EM [dog’s name!]” as the terrified prey is attacked.  With increases in released dogs due to GPS collar allowance, negative impacts will be significantly increased.

A few hounders claim to abide by “fair chase” and “ethical hunting” principles, but hunting in general has reached a tipping point in abandoning these principles with mind-boggling advancements in technology.  If GPS collars are approved by the CA FGC (final hearing and vote planned for December, 2017), then hounders will have no incentive to keep up with their dogs in wildlife habitat and terrain when they can sit in vehicles and watch a screen indicating their dogs’ ranging 1, 4, or 7 miles—or more—which in turn should be a violation of FG Code 3008 that requires dogs to be under control.

Please email comments to [email protected] and oppose the proposed amendment to Section 265, Title 14, CCR.  To reach the commissioners, it’s best to submit them before noon on Friday.  However, the law stipulates that any oral or written comments submitted before the final vote become part of the “administrative record.”  If you can attend in person, the meeting starts at 8:30 a.m., at Marriot’s Spring Hill Suites, 900 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422.  This item is No. 7, but agenda order can be changed.

Thank you for any support you can provide to stop the use of GPS collars and treeing switches on hounds to hunt mammals.

Protect The Wolves

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